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The story behind the Chautauqua County resident accused of firing a replica cannon at his neighbor’s property will be revealed – in court, his attorney said Friday.

This week’s arrest of Brian J. Malta, of the Town of Kiantone, made headlines across the world. Not necessarily for the crimes with which he’s charged – relatively minor counts of menacing and harassment – but for the “weapon” used in their commission.

Malta, 52, was accused of firing an unloaded Civil War replica cannon in what the Chautauqua County Sheriff’s Office characterized as an “ongoing neighbor dispute.” All Sheriff Joseph A. Gerace would say is that it’s a civil matter.

The cannon is being held as evidence, and Malta is free on $2,500 bail. Friday afternoon, Parker MacKay, his Kenmore-based attorney, issued the following statement:

“Contrary to any impressions that might have been formed upon initial reports of his arrest, Mr. Malta is an upstanding and well-respected citizen in the Jamestown area. He appreciates the national and international interest in the story surrounding the unique circumstances of his arrest and generously thanks the community for the overwhelming support he has received so far.

“However, at this point, it would be inappropriate to comment further on legal issues surrounding a pending court proceeding. Therefore, it is sufficient to say Mr. Malta vigorously disputes the allegations against him and looks forward to the full truth of the matter coming out in the appropriate arena, which is a court of law.”

Malta is scheduled to appear Dec. 10 in Kiantone Town Court on the criminal charges.

email: jhabuda@buffnews.com